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Larry Bird: The legacy of an NBA great

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Larry Bird
Larry Bird: The legacy of an NBA great. Photo/ ESPN.
  • Larry Bird is a former basketball player widely regarded as one of the greatest NBA players of all time
  • Bird is a three-time NBA champion, two-time NBA Finals MVP, three-time NBA Most Valuable Player and nine-time All-NBA First Team.
  • He is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and was voted onto the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team list

Larry Bird is a former basketball player widely regarded as one of the greatest NBA players of all time. Nicknamed “Larry Legend” and “the Hick from French Lick”, Bird is on the same levels as the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Bird is a three-time NBA champion, two-time NBA Finals MVP, three-time NBA Most Valuable Player and nine-time All-NBA First Team. He is also a twelve-time NBA All-Star, three-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team, NBA All-Star MVP, All-NBA Second Team and NBA Rookie of the Year.

Larry Bird

Larry Bird. Photo/ NBA.com.

The Boston Celtics legend was a versatile player at both forward positions. He had the ability to play both inside and outside and is remembered as an excellent passer and defender.

Legendary basketball coach Red Auerbach considered Larry Bird the best basketball player of all time. Bird was known for his trash-talking in court. 

Larry Bird is the only person in the NBA to be named Rookie of the Year, Finals MVP, All-Star MVP, Most Valuable Player, Executive of the Year and Coach of the Year. 

He is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and was voted onto the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team list. 

Early Life 

Larry Bird was born in West Baden Springs, Indiana, on December 7, 1956. He is one of the six children of Georgia (nee Kerns) and Claude Joseph “Joe” Bird. 

He grew up in a poverty-stricken family and used basketball as an escape from his family troubles. His parents divorced when he was in high school, and Georgia committed suicide about one year after the divorce. 

During his days at Springs Valley High School, Larry averaged 31 points, 21 rebounds and four assists as a senior. He received a scholarship to join Indiana Hoosiers in 1974. 

But after one month at the university, Larry dropped out and returned to French Lick, where he joined Northwood University. He later enrolled at Indiana State University in 1975. 

Larry Bird has a successful college basketball career with the Sycamores, helping them reach the NCAA tournament finals for the first time in history. However, they lost to Michigan State in the finals. It was at the game that his long rivalry with Magic Johnson began. 

Career 

Larry Bird joined the Boston Celtics as the sixth overall pick in 1978. He led the team to newer heights and was named to the All-Star Team in his debut season. Due to his impressive performances, Larry Bird won the Rookie of the Year. 

The team suffered a few defeats but finally won the championship after beating the Houston Rockets in the finals. Bird claimed the All-Star Game MVP Award and finished runner-up for the Most Valuable Player Award in 1982.

Larry Bird

Larry Bird is one of the greatest NBA players of all time. Photo/ ESPN.

During the games between 1984 and 1985, Bird scored a record 60 points in a game. As a result, he won the MVP award for the second consecutive year. 

Larry won a gold medal for the United States basketball team in the 1992 Olympics held in Barcelona, Spain. He announced his retirement on August 18, 1992. 

Post-Playing Career

Larry Bird, one of the greatest NBA players in history, worked as a special assistant in Bolton Celtics’ front office between 1992 and 1997. He then took on the position of coach of the Indiana Pacers, pushing the team to a 58-24 record despite not having any coaching experience. 

He also pushed the Chicago Bulls to seven games in the Eastern Conference and earned NBA Coach of the Year. Bird led the Pacers to win consecutive Central Division titles. 

The NBA legend resigned from his position at the end of the 2000 season and took the role of the president of basketball operations of the Pacers. Larry Bird has since been in an out of the Indiana Pacers management team.

Larry Bird now

Larry Bird now. Photo/ IndyStar.

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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